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Earlier today, SoundCloud reached a royalty deal which will cover roughly 20,000 record labels through Merlin, an organization that represents smaller companies in digital negotiations. The contract will cover some prominent independent artists such as Vampire Weekend (Beggars Group), FKA Twigs (Beggars Group), Bon Iver (Secretly Group), Grizzly Bear (Warp), Aphex Twin (Warp) and Hudson Mohawke (Warp).
The settlement comes after a historically volatile relationship between SoundCloud and the music industry. Due to its lack of a royalty deal, SoundCloud wasn’t required to pay any compensation to artists. The Berlin-based streaming service is looking to rectify the situation, however to mixed responses. It was successful in signing a deal with Warner Music, but reached a roadblock with Sony that eventually lead to the removal of all its artists’ music, including Adele and Kelly Clarkson. Extending beyond artists, SoundCloud also struck a deal with the National Music Publishers’ Association, as publishers handle the copyrights for songwriting separate from those for recording.